Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Judy Young’s DIGGER AND DAISY GO TO THE DOCTOR reviewed in Kirkus

Kirkus finds the two protagonists in DIGGER AND DAISY GO TO THE DOCTOR (Sleeping Bear), by Judy Young, “great role models” in their review:

"In this latest outing for Digger and Daisy, the elder dog sister guides the younger dog brother through a visit to the doctor.

“Young's comradely canine siblings have a history of enjoying adventures together, but going to the doctor is a different order of things for one simple reason: Shots hurt, and doctors always seem to be waving around needles. However, in this early reader, Digger is under the weather… so a trip to the doctor is imperative. "I do not want to go," Digger protests. "I will get a shot." "You must be brave," replies Daisy, which is easy to say when you are not on the receiving end. At the office, Digger doesn't want to let the doctor do anything—take a look in his eyes, ears or mouth—so Daisy goes first. Digger has a cold, so he doesn't need a shot. "But you do," says the doctor. "Turn around, Daisy." No good deed goes unpunished, though having someone to share it with is like that spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down. Sullivan's artwork lends a hand, little bits of tropical fruit upon which to sprinkle the sugar.

“Giving an inch in the sibling arena can yield a mile of returns, and Digger and Daisy are great role models. (Early Reader, 4-6)."

Be sure to visit Judy Young if you’d like her to come and talk to your students.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Marilyn Singer's RUTHERFORD B., WHO WAS HE? has been nominated for Indiana's 2015-2016 Young Hoosier Book Award in the Intermediate category

We're very pleased to announce that RUTHERFORD B., WHO WAS HE? POEMS ABOUT OURPRESIDENTS (Hyperion/Disney), by Marilyn Singer is a 2015-2016 Young HoosierBook Award nominee in the Intermediate category.

The Young Hoosier Book Award Committee is composed of members of the Association ofIndiana School Library Educators (AISLE), an association of the Indiana Library Federation. Each year, 20 nominees are selected for each of the three categories from suggestions that come from teachers, students, parents, and librarians. The purpose of the award program is to stimulate recreational reading among school children as well as encourage cooperation between schools, libraries and the community in providing more new reading experiences for Indiana’s young people, who are the ones who ultimately vote for the winners.

Please join us in congratulating Marilyn on this nomination!

Friday, December 12, 2014

What one school had to say about a recent author visit from Johanna Reiss, the author of the Newbery Honor book, THE UPSTAIRS ROOM


We recently received a very interesting and thoughtful review for a school visit Johanna Reiss did in December 2014 and thought we'd share it with you:

"On Monday, December 1st, a very special visitor came to Hoboken Junior Senior HighSchool in a speaking event co-sponsored by the Wallace [Elementary] School Library and the Hoboken Junior Senior High School Library. Johanna Reiss, author of THE UPSTAIRS ROOM [HarperCollins], shared her experiences as a hidden child during the Holocaust with students in grades 5-8. She shared stories and images of the family who hid her and her sister for two years and seven months in their upstairs bedroom, at great personal risk to themselves. Her anecdotes about the Oostervelds as well as her own family brought them to life and allowed students to make a connection through our shared humanity.

"Johanna warned against the dangers of blindly following authority and of bullying others. She compared Hitler and the Nazis to bullies and pointed out that people are all the same and so we should not judge or harm each other. She called for students to promise not to hate or judge, but to use compassion and kindness in their dealings with others.

"One particularly poignant moment came when she described the liberation of Holland. As she hobbled out of the house on legs bowed from lack of exercise, the farmer who had been hiding her said to her, 'I can see now the damage the war has done to you. But don’t go into your new life with hate.  That’s not why I saved your life.'

"Of the nearly 400 Jews in her small village of Winterswijk, only 32 returned alive after the war. Johanna’s immediate family was very unusual in that they all survived, save for her mother who died of kidney disease just as the Nazis were invading. In her extended family, however, there were many losses due to cruelty at the hands of the Nazis.

"Event organizers Sara Makler, Cara Killen and Michelle McGreivey are very pleased with the student response to the event. Our students asked a lot of thoughtful questions and we are sure that they will never forget Johanna's message to them." 

If you would like to have Johanna Reiss come to your own school, just contact Balkin Buddies for details.

THE UPSTAIRS ROOM is also available in a digital format from Gray Malkin Media.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

HANDS SAY LOVE by George Shannon is available just in time for Christmas!

George Shannon's new picture book, HANDS SAY LOVE (Little Brown) comes out just in time for Christmas, and we thought we'd share a couple of illustrations from this this perfect read-aloud for toddlers:

Happy Holidays to you and your little ones!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hear Stephanie Calmenson read her book, DINNER AT THE PANDA PALACE

This is what School Library Journal had to say about Stephanie Calmenson's DINNER AT THE PANDA PALACE (HarperCollins): “…a rollicking, counting rhyme…Perfect company for Hogrogian’s Always Room for One More and De Regniers’s May I Bring a Friend.”

"This sprightly story in rhyme also incorporates a counting lesson [and] closes on a warm, satisfying note," according to the Booklist review.

“Everyone happily feasts on Dinner at the Panda Palace,” adds Horn Book.

But there's nothing like hearing it read out loud, especially by the author herself.

And if you would like to have her talk to your students, just contact Balkin Buddies for details.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Learn more about Michael Delaney, his books, his inspirations and his advice to new writers

Why does a writer who writes about gerbils do an interview on a dog blog?  Find out in Annemarie O'Brien's "DogReads" blog interview with M.C. Delaney (aka Michael Delaney), author and illustrator of the Obi books, including OBI: GERBIL ON A MISSION! (Dial/Penguin).

Emily Arnold McCully's IDA M. TARBELL is a 2015 Finalist for The YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction

The YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) Award for Excellence inNonfiction honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults (ages 12-18) during a Nov. 1 – Oct. 31 publishing year. The award winner will be announced annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting Youth Media Awards, which will take place on February 2 from 10:30 to noon EST at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago.

If interested, you can listen to the award announcements via the live webcast.

Please join us in congratulating Emily!